In a world where global flows of people and commodities are on the increase, crimes related to illegal trafficking are creating new concerns for society. This in turn has brought about new and contentious forms of regulation, surveillance, and control. There is a pressing need to consider both the problem itself, and the impact of international anti-trafficking responses.

This authoritative work examines key issues and debates on sex and labor trafficking, drawing on theoretical, empirical, and comparative material to inform the discussion of major trends and future directions. The text brings together key criminological and sociological literature on migration studies, gender, globalization, human rights, security, victimology, policing, and control to provide the most complete overview available on the subject.

Suitable for students and scholars in criminology, criminal justice and sociology, this book sheds unique light on this highly topical and complex subject.

Introduction

Introduction

The trafficking of human beings has attracted considerable public and political concern at national and global levels in recent years. The problem of trafficking typically conjures up images of vulnerable women and children being traded by all-pervasive organised crime networks and unscrupulous snakeheads for sex or cheap labour around the world. It has been variously referred to as ‘the dark side of globalisation’ (Ministerial Conference of the G-8 Countries on Combating Transnational Organized Crime, 1999), a threat to ‘the human rights and the fundamental values of democratic societies’ (Council of Europe, 2005), and nothing less than ‘modern day slavery’ (Blair, 2006; US Department of State, 2007).

Trafficking is nothing new. It has been described as a form of trade that is ‘as old as trade ...

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